Few things promise a wild visual ride like a movie titled My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea opening with an epilepsy warning, and Dash Shaw’s animated whirligig of a riff on The Poseidon Adventure does not disappoint. Self-absorbed sophomore Dash (Jason Schwartzman) is a writer and unreliable narrator whose annoyance that his best friend, Assaf (Reggie Watts), is becoming romantically involved with their fellow school journalist Verti (Maya Rudolph) is only slightly overshadowed by their cliffside high school falling into the ocean. Along with snooty popular girl Mary (Lena Dunham) and badass Lunch Lady Lorraine (Susan Sarandon), they climb to the roof through a fiery, corpse-strewn wreck whose already status-obsessed survivors have wasted no time descending into High Rise–style mayhem.
A teen outcast’s revenge fantasy made manifest, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, with its lo-fi, collage-heavy squigglevision style, earns its epilepsy warning. And while Rudolph has been the MVP of bigger-budgeted animated films great (Big Hero 6), good (Turbo), and dire (The Nut Job), teaming her with Watts is an explosion of awesomeness that’s only surprising insofar as nobody thought to do it before. Sinking Into the Sea is fun, but an hour of just Rudolph and Watts in the recording studio would be no less buoyant.
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
Directed by Dash Shaw
Opens April 14, Metrograph
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 12, 2017